weetabix protein

The protein cereal trend is set to hit the next level in the new year, when Weetabix launches its answer to Fuel 10K’s Protibrick.

At the same time, Fuel 10K is reformulating its own product with a higher protein content. 

Weetabix Protein - a version of the producer’s market-leading wheat biscuits with added wheat protein - rolls out into Waitrose in January, followed by the other mults in February and c-stores from March. The cereal contains 19g of protein per 100g - compared with 12g in standard Weetabix, and 15.7g in current packs of Fuel 10K’s Weetabix-style protein-enhanced Protibrick.

Weetabix’s latest offering - which follows the June launch of its Protein Crunch and Fuel 10K’s Protiflakes - will be joined on shelf by a reformulated version of Protibrick containing 18g of protein per 100g. 

“We have to take our hats off to Weetabix, which has set the bar at 19g per 100g,” said Fuel10K founder Barney Mauleverer. “We have been working with nutritionists on moving Protibrick from a good source of protein to a high source - 20g is considered to be the optimum - for the last six months, without compromising the great taste and texture we have achieved so far.” 

Weetabix, which is supporting its NPD with a £1.3m push from April, said it had developed Weetabix Protein to make it simpler for consumers to get “a high-protein tasty, nutritious breakfast” that would keep them powered throughout the morning.

“The cereal category is ready for a big shift in health perceptions, driven by a big trend from a big brand,” said brand manager Caroline La Niece, dismissing the idea that Weetabix would be going after the same consumers as Protibrick, which she claimed was targeted at “heavy exercisers and muscle builders”. 

“At Weetabix we have worked really hard to develop a high-protein Weetabix using quality ingredients - we have sourced a high-protein wheat and high-protein wheat crispy piece which adds a great new texture to Weetabix Protein, and has performed really strongly in research with consumers delivering high purchase intent scores.”

Both suppliers will be hoping to add value to the struggling cereals category, down 4.7% to £1.42bn on volumes down 2% [Nielsen 52 w/e 10 October 2015]. 

Weetabix is outperforming the market but is still down 1.7% to £139m, despite upping its volumes by 3.4%. 

Fuel 10K said it was on target to reach £10m in sales by the end of next year, boosted by recent “major distribution wins” with Sainsbury’s, Morrisons and The Co-op Group.